Body found in Whistler lake

RCMP say the body of a woman missing from Whistler since Nov. 22 has been found.

Alison Leanne Raspa's body was found in Alpha Lake Friday evening.

The 25 year old Australian had worked at the Westin Resort hotel and was last seen leaving the Three Below Restaurant and Lounge.

At the time of her disappearance, her cellphone was found near the lake.

Police responded Friday when a bystander reported finding what appeared to be human remains in the partially frozen water.

Police say the death does not appear suspicious.

– with files from CTV Vancouver


Drug bust steps from school

Surrey RCMP have busted a drug house just two blocks from a high school.

Police seized drugs and weapons in a March 8 raid on a home on the 1400 block of 160th Street.  

During their investigation, police received information that many youths were buying drugs at the home. 

Police seized about 600 doses of marijuana, 700 doses of magic mushrooms, 500 doses of LSD, 1,800 doses of cannabis extract, and more than $2,500 in cash. Police also seized six pellet guns and five knives.

Three men were arrested at the residence and released with future court dates. Their names have not yet been released, as charges have yet to be laid.

“Drug busts are often noteworthy because of the quantity or types drugs seized. In this case, we have taken down an operation which targeted youth,” said Sgt. Winston Shorey.

Record gas prices on way

Drivers in British Columbia should brace for record high gasoline prices this summer, and the financial pain has the potential to spread across the country, says a petroleum industry analyst.

Dan McTeague of GasBuddy predicts that beginning in April and continuing to September, gasoline prices across much of B.C.'s South Coast will hover around $1.60 a litre.

He blames the hike on high demand and chronically short supply, made even worse by Friday's announcement that the Olympic pipeline that distributes gasoline throughout Washington and Oregon will be taken off-line for four or five days of maintenance.

Prices across Vancouver hit about $1.55 over the weekend, while Victoria remained around $1.40, but McTeague warns southern Vancouver Island could see an eight-cent-a-litre leap as the ripple from short supplies and climbing local taxes spreads.

The high for a litre of gasoline in Metro Vancouver was set on June 22, 2014, when the price was just under $1.56.

McTeague said some analysts fear higher prices will spread east.

"People are shaking their heads," he said. "It's become quite the story, with some national overtones."

McTeague said other parts of the country are not looking at the same prices for gas, particularly because of B.C.'s taxes on gas.

"It's not quite the same thing, you are not dealing with 50-cent-a-litre taxes and you are not dealing with a shortage in the same way Vancouver is experiencing," he said. "But it does suggest, I think, the likelihood of breaking the all-time record in Vancouver will likely happen this week."

In other parts of the country on Monday, the average price for gas was just under $1.14 a litre in Edmonton, about $1.25 in Toronto and around $1.12 in Halifax.

Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline supplies about 50 per cent of the gasoline for B.C.'s south coast, but McTeague says it is already congested and can't meet the region's demand.

The expected lengthy maintenance shutdown of the Parkland refinery, which McTeague said carries 25 per cent of the Vancouver-area's gasoline, has further crimped supply, while the low dollar adds to the expense of topping up from Washington state refineries.

"By any stretch or by any measure, the price you are paying in Vancouver is, for most people, prohibitive," said McTeague.

Los Angeles is the other city in North America where gas prices are unusually high, selling at $3.50 a gallon. But McTeague said even when the exchange rate and other factors are calculated, B.C. drivers would pay about $5.00 for a gallon.


Hazmat incident at copshop

Hazmat crews responded to the Coquitlam RCMP detachment Monday, after a suspicious white powder was brought into the building.

A person entered the building about 9:30 a.m., claiming they had been poisoned and pulled out a package of the unidentified powder. It spread over a countertop, exposing 10 people.

None showed symptoms of poisoning, but were checked by paramedics.

"We have to be careful, especially with all the fentanyl and carfentanil that's out there. We've turned off the HVAC and secured that area. We have to protect all the workers," asst. fire chief Greg Senior told CTV.

The powder is being tested.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

Reduced waits for surgery

B.C.'s health minister says the province is working to reduce wait times for children and adults requiring dental surgery in hospital under general anesthetic.

Adrian Dix says people who are not safely able to get dental care without anesthesia will have more timely access to treatment as 900 more surgeries are performed in the coming year.

The total number of surgeries for those requiring general anesthetic for dental procedures will grow to 7,100 in 2018-19, up 15 per cent from the previous year.

Dix says in a news release his ministry will also work with the B.C. Dental Association to study wait-time guidelines and protocols that it will use to further improve timely access for patients who require dental care in a hospital setting.

The association's executive director, Jocelyn Johnston, says dental disease leaves people in chronic pain, and quicker treatment would allow them to resume life free from infection.

The Health Ministry says that while dental care, such as fillings, root canals and tooth extractions, is usually provided in dental offices under local anesthesia, some patients with developmental disabilities may need general anesthesia to ensure their safety and comfort.

Learning from year of fire

The Cariboo Regional District is mulling more than 70 recommendations to improve its response to wildfires following the devastation of 2017's fire season.

Wildfires charred thousands of square kilometres of timber and bush in the region last year. The recommendations are part of a report following community consultations last fall.

Regional district chairwoman Margo Wagner says some of the proposals would require help from the provincial government, but others related to local operations could be implemented first.

She says those would include improved communications or better permitting to allow residents to more easily return to evacuated areas.

Wagner says the regional district is as prepared as it can be for another wildfire season.

The B.C. Wildfire Service website shows 18 major blazes and dozens of smaller fires destroyed more than 12,000 square kilometres of woodland in 2017. There were five notable fires across the Cariboo region, including one that forced the evacuation of the entire City of Williams Lake.

"We have to remember that this past summer was like a hundred-year event for the Cariboo," said Wagner.

"I'm not saying we will never go through it again, but I'm hoping it won't be this coming summer. And we will be as prepared as we possibly can be."

Wagner has formed an emergency preparedness committee and said one focus will be to ensure communities are not isolated for long periods if wildfires rage nearby.

"(That) happened this past summer because of a lot of road closures that we deemed necessary at the time. But because it went on for so long, it became a struggle with getting food supplies in."

The wildfire service says fires around Williams Lake and Soda Creek forced people from there and surrounding areas from their homes for weeks.

A huge blaze that formed when 20 smaller fires merged into one chewed through more than 5,450 square kilometres of backcountry west of Williams Lake, making it the largest fire in B.C.'s recorded history.

Statistics from the wildfire service show more than 65,000 people were displaced across B.C. last July, August and part of September, and hundreds of buildings were lost.

"I've said several times that honestly, I don't think it would have mattered last summer if we'd had a billion dollars at hand. We were a huge organizations with an endless supply of volunteers. I honestly don't know that any organization would have been prepared for what happened last summer," Wagner said. 

Rescued from apartment fire

Three people were sent to hospital following a Vancouver apartment fire late Sunday.

Firefighters rescued the three residents from Sunset Towers, an apartment complex for seniors and people with disabilities, in the city's West End.

The fire was contained to a third-floor suite, and the unconscious occupant was pulled to safety and revived in front of the building.

A disabled next door neighbour was also carried out, and a third person was taken to hospital for for smoke inhalation.

The building has about 240 units, and all the other residents made it out safely.

Additional firefighters were called in, in case a complete evacuation was needed.

"It's always a bit of an issue getting people out and making sure they're safe, and in this case I understand there was a lot of smoke, so obviously we needed to check and see what other units were affected," Jim Loney, general manager of More Than a Roof Housing Society, told CTV.

He said the tenant is recovering.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

Finally charged with arson

After over a year of investigation, a suspect has been charged for the fire which destroyed a prominent local sporting shop in Surrey.

On Sept. 23, 2017, the Hockey Shop Source for Sports at 10280 City Parkway went up in flames and was destroyed.

James Marvin Haslam, who has no fixed address, has now been charged with arson for the incident. He has been arrested and is now in custody, with his next court date scheduled for March 22. 

“This crime has greatly affected the hockey community here in Surrey,” said Staff Sergeant Rob Kurtz of the Surrey Serious Crime Unit.

“We are pleased that through the co-ordinated efforts of our Serious Crime Unit, interview team, and community response team, we have been able to identify this suspect and forward this case to Crown counsel for prosecution.”

Beacon saves skier

A skier is lucky to be alive this morning after a close call near Golden on the weekend.

RCMP tell Castanet a backcountry skier ran into trouble Sunday, and if it wasn't for his rescue beacon, it may have been much worse.

RCMP say the man's SPOT beacon activated, alerting police, who in turn called in members of Golden and District Search and Rescue.

A helicopter search quickly located the injured man, and he was airlifted to hospital in Golden for treatment.

Golden-Field RCMP haven't released any other details.

Paralympic glory for BC

Emily Young headlines a strong Paralympic showing for Canada at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

Young won two medals bronze in Cross-Country Skiing 7.5km and  Cross-Country Skiing 4x2.5km Mixed Relay where she won silver.

British Columbia's Paralympic athletes are celebrating 16 medals from the games.

British Columbia-connected athletes earned 57 per cent of the Canadian Paralympic Team's total medal count, including four gold, three silver and nine bronze medals. Team Canada won 28 medals overall.

Athletes connected to British Columbia who earned medals at the games include:

  • Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) with Guide Jack Leitch: Alpine Downhill, Visually Impaired - Gold; Alpine Giant Slalom Visually Impaired - Bronze
  • Kurt Oatway (Calgary, Alta.): Alpine Super-G Sitting - Gold
  • Mollie Jepsen (North Vancouver): Alpine Super Combined Standing - Gold; Alpine Downhill, Standing - Bronze; Alpine Giant Slalom Standing - Bronze; Alpine Slalom, Standing - Silver
  • Alana Ramsay (Calgary, Alta.): Alpine Super-G, Standing - Bronze; Alpine Super Combined Standing - Bronze
  • Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, Que.): Alpine Giant Slalom Standing - Bronze
  • Natalie Wilkie (Salmon Arm): Cross-Country Skiing, 1.5km Sprint Classic Standing - Bronze; Cross-Country Skiing, 7.5km Standing - Gold; Cross-Country Skiing, 4x2.5km Mixed Relay - Silver
  • Emily Young (North Vancouve/Kelowna): Cross-Country Skiing 7.5km Standing - Bronze; Cross-Country Skiing 4x2.5km Mixed Relay - Silver
  • Ina Forrest (Armstrong): Wheelchair Curling - Bronze
  • Greg Westlake (West Vancouver) and James Gemmell (Quesnel): Ice Sledge Hockey - Silver

Each year, the B.C. government invests more than $50 million in sport funding. This includes more than $1.6 million in annual support to the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, and over $800,000 in 2017-18, through viaSport, for sport organizations for athletes with a disability.

"Like all British Columbians, I am so proud of our athletes who competed at the Paralympics in PyeongChang," said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. "These Games have been an amazing achievement for competitors and our sport development programs. I was thrilled to see so many of Team Canada's Paralympians were B.C.-based. Our government supports a strong sport system that enables our athletes to pursue their goals and dreams - and these results demonstrate its success. Congratulations to athletes, coaches and everyone who contributed!"

Of Team Canada's 55 Paralympians, 43.6 per cent (24) have a B.C. connection - double B.C.'s representation on the Paralympic team at Sochi 2014. This includes athletes who call B.C. home, as well as those from outside of B.C. who train in the province with the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific or regional alliance partners.

"It has been a spectacular Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang for Team Canada, bringing home a record number of medals," said Wendy Pattenden, CEO, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific. "These inspirational athletes have proven themselves on the world's biggest stage, and it's our privilege to work with so many of them and their national sport organizations. It is with the support of our strong provincial sport system that they are able to show the world what they are capable of."

The eagle has landed

The Hancock Wildlife Foundation is spearheading a project to learn more about eagles that nest in the Lower Mainland by fitting them with tiny, high-tech backpacks to track their movement.

Director, David Hancock, is an eagle biologist involved in the Bald Eagle Tracking Alliance.

Hancock says so far, they've trapped five birds and released them with the lightweight devices.

"The lower Fraser Valley probably has at least 35,000 eagles passing through it every year," Hancock said. "But we don't know where they come from, or where they go."

The technology is high tech as well, each backpack is solar-powered and downloads GPS data whenever the bird flies within range of a cell tower.

About 35,000 bald eagles pass through the Fraser Valley every year, and researchers wanted to know where they're coming from and where they're going.

The first eagle they put the device on spent its first day hanging around the Vancouver landfill—the same place researchers found it. The next day, it flew down to White Rock. From there, it made its way to Bellingham. Then, the bird dropped off the radar.

A little over a month later, its tracker checked in again. The bird had gone across the Coast Mountains and south to the edge of Washington and Oregon, hanging around a deep valley. From there, it went back up north crossing over Port Moody. The last time Hancock checked, the bird had flown past Sechelt and gone out of range again.

"We really don't know much about the travels of eagles," Hancock said. "A friend of mine trapped nine in Louisiana … by June, every one of those birds had crossed the Canadian border."

The project also helps understand how the eagle population has rebounded. Hancock says he used to only be able to find three nesting pairs in the whole Lower Mainland, but now there are over 400.

"That's what's kept me going all these years," he said. "It's that I've seen at least something positive about conservation. We've changed our attitude."

– with files from CTV

Dangerous manoeuvre


Warning graphic language in video.

More evidence of bad driving on B.C. roads.

A dangerous manoeuvre by the driver of a blue pickup truck was caught on dash cam by James Milne in Langley.

Milne says he was shocked by what happened and his footage shows a pickup truck blowing past traffic on Highway 1 using a passing lane that doesn't exist before cutting back in.

"He flies down the shoulder, and then right before he hits the barricade he forces himself into traffic," Milne told CTV News.

The truck apparently finished its attempt at passing on the shoulder by swerving back into traffic to avoid concrete barriers.

The video has been posted on YouTube and it's already been viewed thousands of times.

"We were all just trying to get to where we're trying to go," Milne said. "And this guy obviously thinks he's more important than the rest of us."

The video does not capture the vehicle's license plate, so even if police wanted to take action there is little chance of finding the driver which means the driver will get away scot-free.

-with files from CTV

More BC News

Vancouver Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
Recent Trending
Okanagan Oldies
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada